The Buzz: June 9, 2003

If your current laptop case just isn't standing up to the pounding, you may want to look at that old standard, Samsonite.

Samsonite Lines Up 15 New Laptop Bags

If your current laptop case just isnt standing up to the pounding, you may want to look at that old standard, Samsonite.

The luggage maker is shipping a new line of 15 cases designed for the mobile power user, using the latest innovations to keep the bags light and strong. The cases were unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. The cases come in four main categories: Thin and Light, which are as light as 2 pounds, 4 ounces; Traditional; Mobile Office; and Business Casual.

Gartner Revises Market Share Numbers

Gartner DataQuest has revised U.S. server market data dating to 2001, a move that has resulted in Hewlett-Packards numbers for the final quarter of last year moving from an increase to a decline.

According to the new numbers released last week, HP saw its overall U.S. server market business and nationwide Unix server business each decline by 16 percent. Initial numbers released by Gartner in January indicated that HPs overall business had grown by 11 percent and its Unix business by 54 percent.

At the same time, the revised numbers cut the amount of business lost by Sun Microsystems. Instead of a 27 percent decline in its overall U.S. business, Suns business dropped 15 percent. In the Unix space, the decline fell from 28 percent to 16 percent.

Dell Computer had its overall growth numbers pared a little, from 37 percent to 30 percent. IBMs growth stayed the same.

BellSouth CEO Touts Deregulation

Duane Ackerman, BellSouth chairman and CEO, took regulators to task last week at the Supercomm show in Atlanta.

Regional Bell Operating Companies are not attracting the kind of investment capital they are used to, and they are looking to the government to change that, Ackerman said. A way to spur renewed capital investment in the telecommunications sector is by reducing regulations, which have not kept pace with marketplace developments, he said. "Telecom has been locked in its own glass bubble for some time now," he said. "Public policy has controlled what we grow and what we breathe and the relationships that we form."

Echoing a recent theme sounded by Verizon Communications and SBC Communications, Ackerman implored the Federal Communications Commission to give RBOCs more leeway in negotiating interconnection and resale agreements with rival carriers.

"We must create a more natural climate for commercial agreements," Ackerman said.

Microsoft Patches Two IE Flaws

Microsoft last week released patches for two critical flaws in IE that enable an attacker to run code on a vulnerable PC.

The first vulnerability is a buffer overrun that results from Internet Explorers failure to properly determine an object type returned from a Web server. An attacker would be able to exploit this problem simply by having a user with a vulnerable machine visit a malicious Web site set up for this purpose. The user would not have to take any other actions once on the site. The second vulnerability is a result of IE not implementing a block on a file download dialog box. Both vulnerabilities would allow the attacker to run code on the users machine.

The problems affect IE 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 and 6.0 for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft officials said new default security safeguards in Windows Server 2003 are designed to prevent these kinds of attacks by default. But customers often change the default configuration after installation. "In the lockdown configuration, these vulnerabilities just dont fire," said Steve Lipner, Microsofts director of security engineering strategy. "We did it to achieve this benefit."